Business
Expand women's access to financial services, EAC told
Publish Date: May 20, 2014
Expand women's access to financial services, EAC told
A woman takes her cassava to the market
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Patrick Jaramogi

The East African partner states need to harmonise laws that increase access of credit to women, activists have said.


Women entrepreneurs from Kenya and Uganda operating small, medium and large scale enterprises observed that despite the formulation of the East African Common Market protocol, laws, regulations and practices that hinder women access to financial assistance are still present.

The women under the Women and Girls Empowerment project (WOGE) echoed their concerns during an advocacy meeting organised by the East African sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) at the Blue York Hotel in Busia recently.

EASSI is a regional civil society organisation advocating for effective mechanisms for the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality.

Fridah Oyugah, the chairperson Wamama pamoja (Funyula) Samia group, noted that many women operating along the borders have been empowered, but added that more sensitisation is needed.

A woman working at a stone quarry for a living

She said although the regional governments have eased movement across borders, a lot still needs to be done to promote free movement of people and goods

“As women cross border traders, we still face hurdles while crossing with our merchandise. Issues of clearance at the customs border point still dog the process,” she said.

Oyugah observed that despite the customs union and common market protocol, the borders in Busia and Malaba are always congested due bureaucratic clearing procedures.

“It is such procedures that force many cross border women to engage in smuggling,” she observed. Mwajuma Bahati Toloyi from Nambale constituency in Nambale town said the process of empowering women in business is encumbered by the tedious paperwork that is required.

“EASSI has done its best to empower women, but the EAC states need to do more for women to benefit from the EAC common market protocol,” she said.

Kenya deputy commissioner Valentine Cherono urged the cross border women traders to be vigilant when doing business.

“As we trade, we need to be aware of security because with - out security we cannot have peace,” she said.

She urged Kenyans customs officers at the border to handle foreigners with care.

“Busia is the face of Kenya. The number of visitors we get from Uganda, South Sudan and DRC will be determined by the way you treat them when they enter through Busia,” she noted.

Busia resident district commissioner Hussein Batanda noted that empowering women is the main way of ad - dressing poverty at the house - hold level.

“The Government will continue to work with organisations such as EASSI that empower women and girls. Once we empower the women, who contribute 65% of production, then poverty will be eradicated,” he said.

EASSI executive director Marren Bukachi said the project has helped over 1,200 women form groups to have a collective voice.

“The women now have practical skills to do business. They have been empowered to produce, and we are now helping them get market access in the region,” Bukachi said.

Elizabeth Ampairwe the EASSI WOGE coordinator, said over 6,000 rural women from the border districts of Busia, Rakai and Kabale will be financially empowered with funds from the Netherlands government in the next four years.

RELATED ARTICLES

Rural women get business development tips

First women’s commercial bank launched in Uganda

Kiyindi women add value to ‘mukene’

University for women key to Africa agriculture
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Agric ministry creates directorate to address risks
The ministry of agriculture, animal industry and fisheries has set up a directorate dedicated to the delivery of extension services in the country...
Sudhir’s tenants resume business on tight conditions
Traders operating business on Sudhir Ruparelia’s shopping arcades including Tourist Hotel, Platinum House and Plot 11 have reopened their shops after having a non-fruitful strike on Monday...
Kampala to get first city tour buses in new boost for urban tourism
Kampala is set to get its first city tour buses a development that will come as a major boost for urban tourism and further diversity tourism’s product offerings....
Inflation rises on strong dollar
Consumers should expect to pay more for imported goods and locally manufactured products that use imported raw materials as the dollar continues to mount pressure on the shilling....
Only 23 percent of Ugandans access internet
The permanent secretary in the ministry of ICT Dr. Jimmy Pat Samanya has called for reduction in internet fees to enable more Ugandans benefit from it....
Libyan government injects sh180b to revamp Utl
The Libyan government has injected $56m to revamp Uganda Telecom Limited (Utl) that has been facing serious financial problems, the Libyan Foreign Affairs minister, Mohamed Dayri has revealed....
With Eddie Kenzo’s win at the BET awards, is Ugandan music being recognized worldwide?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter